When it’s about developing an application for a specific operation, choosing the right metal is crucial to function properly. With so many metal and alloy options, the decision isn’t easy. The following alloy selection guide will provide you some tips to choose the right alloys for manufactures.
An alloy is made of two or more chemical elements, including metal, to provide higher corrosion resistance and strength. For example, alloying of carbon and iron produce steel alloy.
Moreover, alloys have a wider range of applications like gold alloy for jewelry, bronze for medals, stainless steels for rails etc. Basically, from industrial plants to the medical field, various engineering equipment, automobiles, marine, aircraft and other areas extensively use metal alloys.
Therefore, one must know the importance of proper alloying depending on the product’s function and usage.
Six Tips For Choosing The Right Alloys For Manufacturers
First and foremost, manufactures must understand every alloy has different properties. There are few key factors to consider for choosing the right alloy for a small business. Though the factors may differ according to the application needs and manufacturing process.
But still, in order to produce a cost-effective but durable product, here are the six tips for how to choose the right metal alloys for a project.
- Physical Properties
Each alloy reacts differently under different environments like temperature, corrosion or water.
- Heat-resistance: Heat consideration is very important if your product will work under extremely high or low temperatures. Such as, if the product is for an aerospace field, a heat resistive alloy like Nickel is the suitable option to work in high and low heat.
- Corrosion-resistance:If the product exposes to water, high corrosive resistive alloys like zamak or tin alloy can be the best solution. Zamak is a metallic mixture of zinc, aluminum, copper and magnesium whose melting point is almost 400°C.
Due to its stainless characteristics, zamak is best for die-casting, offering great resistance to corrosion, shock or wear, few zamak alloys are zamak12, zamak13 and zamak15 for various applications like costume jewelry, leather items etc.
- Mechanical Properties
The mechanical properties of an alloy define its hardness, flexibility, toughness and strength. However, these properties vary by the metal alloy materials and how it processes.
For instance, the tin ingot is rust-proof, malleable and moderately ductile. It’s made from smelting the tin ore in a furnace and used in tin armors, tin cans, tin plating etc.
Another key point is different alloys contain different elements, which are processed differently. In today’s age, choosing a cost-effective metal alloy is highly desirable. Meanwhile, there are high chances of increasing maintenance cost and environmental risks with the cheaper option.
Consequently, depending on the manufacturing procedure and application need, an alloy can be cheap as raw materials or expensive with long service life.
Choosing the best possible alloy is necessary for the specific service. Manufacturers need to determine the application areas like environmental concerns or risk factors. Then only one can select an alloy from available options.
Alloy fabrication is another prime consideration to define the structure through cutting, bending or forming. Manufacturers need to be careful because semi-finished or wrong fabrication can cause malfunctions in the application.
In short, importance of choosing the right alloys determines how well the product can manufacture.Hence, take a close measurement at the final product.
- Surface Properties and Surface Treatment
The surface treatment is the process of making the material’s surface better. The main purpose is basically protecting the metal parts against corrosion, wear or rusting before the final assembly.
The final surface finishing process is usually done via electrical, mechanical or chemical means. Some most popular surface finishing processes are polishing, painting, electroplating, thermal spraying etc.
For example, electrolytic silver-plating gives bright finishes and also protects the components in electronic or electrical instruments against corrosion.
Additionally, it’s essential to check surface properties like appearance and abrasion. Hence, the alloy can fit as per the customer’s requirements.
The above-mentioned tips can be useful in the alloy selection process. However, the best way to navigate is to understand the project requirement and compare that to the properties of the main components.
Moreover, the resultant alloy from mixture elements has unique properties than the original. The new properties make the alloy harder, durable, more resistive and useful for different purposes. Hence, it’s vital to make the right choice while creating alloys with manufacturing metals.